Five years ago, Project Help began helping Santa with toys for the children of local military and veteran families. It has been a super success. The parents were able to shop for all the toys they wanted for their children and pay nothing. Many tears of joy were shed and lots of thank you hugs for making Christmas possible for their kids.
2020 was to be even bigger and better than before. They were not expecting the drama of the virus to shut down may of the avenues by which donations were collected in previous years. So it was decided not to be deterred but to recreate the ways and means to accomplish the mission.
2021 is still a tough year for families. Sandy Mitchell, Executive Director and founder of Project Help, and the board of directors came up with a plan to by-pass the previous methods and get the community more involved than ever. “We came up with a plan to circumvent the problems and still deliver for the kids”, said Mitchell. “We are reaching out to local companies and asking them to collect toys from their employees.” Schools, clubs, organizations and individuals are also urged to get involved as they have in the past. One local Cub Scout pack has already stepped up to the task. More are expected. “We are wondering who you know that would be willing to help. Your company, club, organization, school? Just an ask can result in a yes”, said Mitchell.
The start date for collecting the toys is December 12 through December 18. Toys can be dropped off at the Mobile Closet next to at the Main Library at 125 Morris Turnpike, Newton, 1 PM – 4 PM. Call Sandy at (862) 266-9726 or Karen at (973) 219-0339 for a confirmation of appointment day and time.
Donations can also be dropped off anytime at Project Help, 55 Bank St., Sussex NJ, leave it on the porch. A courtesy call would be great 973-875-2068, if the donation of toys is very large, we can arrange to do a pick up.
Here are some ideas of what is needed:
Children ages 1-18, Boys and girls. Diapers are always needed for the tiny folks.
Pull and push toys, squeaky toys, blocks, shape puzzles, books, musical toys, Baby dolls, trains, cars, trucks, Sporting goods: Basketballs, footballs, whiffle ball and bat, soccer balls, plastic bat and ball, Bubbles, Play dough, hobby kits like potholder, card making, Games, puzzles, Art supplies, coloring books and crayons, Models to build and for the Teen/tween girls – Nail polish, makeup, hair accessories.
All of the mothers and fathers in reader land, will understand the age appropriate toys for these kids. If you’d like to be a Santa Helper, please visit www.ProjectHelp.us and click on contact us.
Project Help is a local nonprofit, 501c3 organization dedicated to the wellbeing of military and veteran families. They are all volunteers and can always use extra everything… help of every kind.